Mood Paintings

I thought a lot about this piece. I want to talk about painting and mood, and whether the mood of the artist, and the mood of the subject are intertwined.
Of course no one really knows about the inner emotional state of the artist when she's painting a picture, unless it's written down, and mood and feeling can change over the creation of a work, especially if it's very complex.
Mary Kemp"Tranquility"Oil on canvas panel. 12" x 12"
Was I feeling tranquil at the time? 
But there's no denying that when you look at certain paintings you get a distinct feeling for the disposition of the artist.

My fondest feelings go out to the artist Beryl Cook. In her lifetime she injected such a surge of gaiety into art that it left the establishment reeling. You only have to ask people to name a modern day artist and it's not the great and the lovies of the art world, but Beryl Cook's name that springs to mind. Go to the website. It's a joy!

So if Beryl Cook wins the prize for the most cheery artist  I think Egon Schiele wins the prize for the most tortured artist. The biography of his short life, he died of influenza at 28, reads of someone grasping at every bit of life he could possibly get but was obviously never satisfied. Even his paintings of sunflowers have a dried, tortured starved look about them.

His work and life is so different to that of Claude Monet whose art speaks of abundant rural life and being settled. Did you know that he became so wealthy in later life that when the owner of his favourite stand of poplars wanted to cut them down he bought the land himself, leaving them to live and be painted another day. I'm sure that sort of comfortable life feeds into his art.

Is it a conscious decision to paint as you feel? Do many artists put that into words. We're very encouraged these days to talk about our art. Everyone needs a back story. I know a fellow artist who says "I like painting trees, that's it. No reason." No inner turmoil. But not very interesting. Her trees are lovely, non challenging and sell well. She's a nice person too!


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